That was the case again on Friday, when the Canadian made several turnovers in his area and continued to slide down the standings, losing 4-1 to the Sabers at KeyBank Center in Buffalo.
He’s frustrated. You’ve become your staunch enemy, and that’s what we did tonight. We control this disk. We’re in the NHL, you can play games. And making games doesn’t mean you have to switch to the top games of the week all the time. They are efficient, clever, and well-executed games. That’s what we did in the first half, and once we get away from that… we can’t have a system to defend thatDucharme’s summary, visibly angry.
Taghi Thompson, twice, and Cody Eiken and Kyle Okposo comfortably netted the Sabers (8-10-2), who ended their four-game losing streak.
Josh Anderson was the only one to hit back at the Canadian (5-15-2), who was trying to recover after suffering a blistering 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.
Josh was our best striker tonight. For me, when we talk about effort, we’re talking about implementation and resolution to sprite. This is where we get in trouble, we shoot in the foot and run after the game. This is where we get messy, because there’s no way. Does not exist. You must be able to play these gamesDucharme said.
Josh Anderson sent a message to the team’s veterans, who should put in a sustained effort.
We must be better. Young people come here and watch us. They are the ones who work and perform. I’m not saying it’s everyone – I involve myself in that – but the consistency is not there. We have to stay together. You have to do it, because you want to have fun when you get to the arena. At the moment, we don’t have one.
Goalkeeper Samuel Montemboldt will have to wait a little longer before clinching a second win this season. He did what he could under the circumstances and finished his night work with 35 stops.
His counterpart, former Canadian goalkeeper Dustin Tokarsky, saved 25 shots in front of the Sabers net. This was his first career victory over his former team.
Once again, things started badly for the men led by coach Dominique Ducharme.
The Blue Blanc Rouge team scored the first goal in the match. This time around, striker Artturi Lehkonen was a turning source in his area who set the table for Thompson’s network at 4:08 from the first frame.
Anderson put the two teams back in square one with 7:16 remaining on the clock, taking advantage of a blunder by Jeff Skinner in the defensive zone to grab a free disc in the pocket and hit Tokarski with accurate handcuffs. It was his fifth goal this season.
Al-Saif returned in the second half with two goals without a response.
Eakin initially took advantage of Jeff Petrie’s fatal mistake in the Saber area to jostle and skillfully completed a three-on-one descent, making it 2-1 for the locals. Then, with less than five minutes of play in the period, Okposo took advantage of the Canadian’s apathy in strong play to double his side’s lead.
Ben Chiaroot admitted that Cypress scored goals in a timely manner, which hurt the Canadians hard.
Certainly there are ups and downs when things don’t go well. We play in our heels, that’s normal. But I don’t feel that is the case tonight. They broke our back with a few proper goals in key points, and we completely broke our pace. It was a kick in the ass at the worst possible time.
Thompson put an end to the Habs’ comeback attempt at 3:29 in the third half, scoring his second goal of the game. The Canadian suffered a second loss in a row abroad.
Jonathan Drouin doesn’t think he and his co-workers are down, but he admits his confidence is starting to wane.
No, there’s no frustration on the bench, but it’s definitely hard to maintain your confidence when you start losing as many matches as we’re losing now. It seems like every time you get the chance to score, you get into our team’s goal. We offer too many chances of scoring well for the opposing team – that was the case for tonight’s fourth goal, Thompson’s goal, Montemboldt didn’t have much chance of saving that goal.
Ducharme again recommended a formation of 11 attackers and seven defenders against the Saber. Maneuvering smiled at him last week, in a 6-3 win over the Nashville Predators. Not this time.
Striker Cedric Paquette made room in the starting line-up for defender Matthias Norländer. The 21-year-old Swede played his third career match on the Pittman Tour, and did well for the first time outside of the Bell Center.
Ducharme also took the opportunity to juggle his trios, including Jonathan Drouin, Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. An experiment which, as has often been the case since the beginning of the campaign, yielded mixed results.
This was the second game of the season between the Habs and Sabers. New York had won 5-1 on October 14 – Montembolt was then the main goalkeeper.
The Canadian plays two matches in two nights. Ducharme has already confirmed that goalkeeper Jake Allen will score against the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
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